Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Saint October 17 : St. Ignatius of Antioch - a Bishop and Martyr who is the Patron of Throat diseases


St. Ignatius of Antioch

50 in Syria
between 98-117, Rome
Major Shrine:
Relics are in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
Patron of:
against throat diseases, Church in eastern Mediterranean; Church in North Africa

Also called Theophorus (ho Theophoros); born in Syria, around the year 50; died at Rome between 98 and 117.
More than one of the earliest ecclesiastical writers have given credence, though apparently without good reason, to the legend that Ignatius was the child whom the Savior took up in His arms, as described in Mark, ix, 35. It is also believed, and with great probability, that, with his friend Polycarp, he was among the auditors of the Apostle St. John. If we include St. Peter, Ignatius was the third Bishop of Antioch and the immediate successor of Evodius (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl.", II, iii, 22). Theodoret ("Dial. Immutab.", I, iv, 33a, Paris, 1642) is the authority for the statement that St. Peter appointed Ignatius to the See of Antioch. St. John Chrysostom lays special emphasis on the honor conferred upon the martyr in receiving his episcopal consecration at the hands of the Apostles themselves ("Hom. in St. Ig.", IV. 587). Natalis Alexander quotes Theodoret to the same effect (III, xii, art. xvi, p. 53).
All the sterling qualities of ideal pastor and a true soldier of Christ were possessed by the Bishop of Antioch in a preeminent degree. Accordingly, when the storm of the persecution of Domitian broke in its full fury upon the Christians of Syria, it found their faithful leader prepared and watchful. He was unremitting in his vigilance and tireless in his efforts to inspire hope and to strengthen the weaklings of his flock against the terrors of the persecution. The restoration of peace, though it was short-lived, greatly comforted him. But it was not for himself that he rejoiced, as the one great and ever-present wish of his chivalrous soul was that he might receive the fullness of Christian discipleship through the medium of martyrdom. His desire was not to remain long unsatisfied. Associated with the writings of St. Ignatius is a work called "Martyrium Ignatii ", which purports to be an account by eyewitnesses of the martyrdom of St. Ignatius and the acts leading up to it. In this work, which such competent Protestant critics as Pearson and Ussher regard as genuine, the full history of that eventful journey from Syria to Rome is faithfully recorded for the edification of the Church of Antioch. It is certainly very ancient and is reputed to have been written by Philo, deacon of Tarsus, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian, who accompanied Ignatius to Rome. It is generally admitted, even by those who regarded it as authentic, that this work has been greatly interpolated. Its most reliable form is that found in the "Martyrium Colbertinum" which closes the mixed recension and is so called because its oldest witness is the tenth-century Codex Colbertinus (Paris).
According to these Acts, in the ninth year of his reign, Trajan, flushed with victory over the Scythians and Dacians, sought to perfect the universality of his dominion by a species of religious conquest. He decreed, therefore, that the Christians should unite with their pagan neighbors in the worship of the gods. A general persecution was threatened, and death was named as the penalty for all who refused to offer the prescribed sacrifice. Instantly alert to the danger that threatened, Ignatius availed himself of all the means within his reach to thwart the purpose of the emperor. The success of his zealous efforts did not long remain hidden from the Church's persecutors. He was soon arrested and led before Trajan, who was then sojourning in Antioch. Accused by the emperor himself of violating the imperial edict, and of inciting others to like transgressions, Ignatius valiantly bore witness to the faith of Christ. If we may believe the account given in the "Martyrium", his bearing before Trajan was characterized by inspired eloquence, sublime courage, and even a spirit of exultation. Incapable of appreciating the motives that animated him, the emperor ordered him to be put in chains and taken to Rome, there to become the food of wild beasts and a spectacle for the people.
That the trials of this journey to Rome were great we gather from his letter to the Romans (par. 5): "From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated." Despite all this, his journey was a kind of triumph. News of his fate, his destination, and his probable itinerary had gone swiftly before. At several places along the road his fellow-Christians greeted him with words of comfort and reverential homage. It is probable that he embarked on his way to Rome at Seleucia, in Syria, the nearest port to Antioch, for either Tarsus in Cilicia, or Attalia in Pamphylia, and thence, as we gather from his letters, he journeyed overland through Asia Minor. At Laodicea, on the River Lycus, where a choice of routes presented itself, his guards selected the more northerly, which brought the prospective martyr through Philadelphia and Sardis, and finally to Smyrna, where Polycarp, his fellow-disciple in the school of St. John, was bishop. The stay at Smyrna, which was a protracted one, gave the representatives of the various Christian communities in Asia Minor an opportunity of greeting the illustrious prisoner, and offering him the homage of the Churches they represented. From the congregations of Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles, deputations came to comfort him. To each of these Christian communities he addressed letters from Smyrna, exhorting them to obedience to their respective bishops, and warning them to avoid the contamination of heresy. These, letters are redolent with the spirit of Christian charity, apostolic zeal, and pastoral solicitude. While still there he wrote also to the Christians of Rome, begging them to do nothing to deprive him of the opportunity of martyrdom.
From Smyrna his captors took him to Troas, from which place he dispatched letters to the Christians of Philadelphia and Smyrna, and to Polycarp. Besides these letters, Ignatius had intended to address others to the Christian communities of Asia Minor, inviting them to give public expression to their sympathy with the brethren in Antioch, but the altered plans of his guards, necessitating a hurried departure, from Troas, defeated his purpose, and he was obliged to content himself with delegating this office to his friend Polycarp. At Troas they took ship for Neapolis. From this place their journey led them overland through Macedonia and Illyria. The next port of embarkation was probably Dyrrhachium (Durazzo). Whether having arrived at the shores of the Adriatic, he completed his journey by land or sea, it is impossible to determine. Not long after his arrival in Rome he won his long-coveted crown of martyrdom in the Flavian amphitheater. The relics of the holy martyr were borne back to Antioch by the deacon Philo of Cilicia, and Rheus Agathopus, a Syrian, and were interred outside the gates not far from the beautiful suburb of Daphne. They were afterwards removed by the Emperor Theodosius II to the Tychaeum, or Temple of Fortune which was then converted into a Christian church under the patronage of the martyr whose relics it sheltered. In 637 they were translated to St. Clement's at Rome, where they now rest. The Church celebrates the feast of St. Ignatius on 1 February.
The character of St. Ignatius, as deduced from his own and the extant writings of his contemporaries, is that of a true athlete of Christ. The triple honor of apostle, bishop, and martyr was well merited by this energetic soldier of the Faith. An enthusiastic devotion to duty, a passionate love of sacrifice, and an utter fearlessness in the defense of Christian truth, were his chief characteristics. Zeal for the spiritual well-being of those under his charge breathes from every line of his writings. Ever vigilant lest they be infected by the rampant heresies of those early days; praying for them, that their faith and courage may not be wanting in the hour of persecution; constantly exhorting them to unfailing obedience to their bishops; teaching them all Catholic truth ; eagerly sighing for the crown of martyrdom, that his own blood may fructify in added graces in the souls of his flock, he proves himself in every sense a true, pastor of souls, the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis "...recognize and favor the ever new ways through which the Risen Christ pours his Spirit into the world and attracts hearts..." Full Text at Audience


Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles - 12. "God does not make preference of persons" (Acts 10:34). Peter and the outpouring of the Spirit on the pagans

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The journey of the Gospel in the world, which St. Luke recounts in the Acts of the Apostles, is accompanied by the supreme creativity of God which manifests itself in a surprising manner. God wants his children to overcome every particularism to open up to the universality of salvation. This is the purpose: to overcome particularisms and open up to the universality of salvation, because God wants to save everyone. Those who are reborn from water and the Spirit - the baptized - are called to come out of themselves and open up to others, to live in proximity, the style of living together, which transforms every interpersonal relationship into an experience of fraternity (see Esort ap. Evangelii gaudium, 87).

The witness of this process of "fraternization" that the Spirit wants to trigger in history is Peter, protagonist in the Acts of the Apostles with Paul. Pietro lives an event that marks a decisive turning point for his existence. While he is praying, he receives a vision that serves as a divine "provocation" to stir up a change of mentality in him. He sees a large tablecloth coming down from above, containing various animals: quadrupeds, reptiles and birds, and he hears a voice inviting him to feed on those meats. He, as a good Jew, reacts by claiming that he has never eaten anything impure, as required by the Law of the Lord (see Lv 11). Then the voice strongly replies: "What God has purified, you do not call him profane" (Acts 10:15).

With this fact the Lord wants Peter to no longer evaluate events and people according to the categories of the pure and the impure, but to learn to go further, to look at the person and the intentions of his heart. What makes man impure, in fact, does not come from outside but only from within, from the heart (see Mk 7:21). Jesus said it clearly.

After that vision, God sends Peter to the home of an uncircumcised foreigner, Cornelius, "centurion of the so-called Italic, [...] religious and God-fearing cohort", who gives many alms to the people and always prays to God (see Acts 10,1 -2), but he was not Jewish.

In that house of pagans, Peter preaches the crucified and risen Christ and the forgiveness of sins to whoever believes in Him. And while Peter speaks, the Holy Spirit is poured out over Cornelius and his family. And Peter baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ (see Acts 10:48).

This extraordinary fact - this is the first time such a thing has happened - is known in Jerusalem, where the brothers, shocked by Peter's behavior, harshly rebuke him (see Acts 11: 1-3). Peter did something that went beyond custom, beyond the law, and for this they reproach him. But after the meeting with Cornelius, Peter is freer from himself and more in communion with God and with others, because he saw the will of God in the action of the Holy Spirit. He can therefore understand that the election of Israel is not the reward for merit, but the sign of the gratuitous call to be the mediation of the divine blessing among the pagan peoples.

Dear brothers, from the Prince of the Apostles we learn that an evangelizer cannot be an impediment to God's creative work, which "wants all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2: 4), but one that favors the meeting of hearts with the Lord. And how do we behave with our brothers, especially those who are not Christians? Are we impediment for the encounter with God? Do we obstruct their encounter with the Father or do we facilitate it?

Today we ask for the grace to allow ourselves to be surprised by God's surprises, not to hinder his creativity, but to recognize and favor the ever new ways through which the Risen Christ pours his Spirit into the world and attracts hearts making himself known as the "Lord of all "(Acts 10:36). Thanks.

Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier les personnes venues de Belgique et de France. Pierre se reconnaît comme serviteur de la Parole de Dieu. Cette Parole le précède et le dépasse; elle l’appelle à donner le meilleur de lui-même. En ce mois missionnaire extraordinaire, demandons la grâce de l’Esprit Saint, à être comme évangélisateurs, des constructeurs de ponts entre les personnes et le Seigneur, et non des obstacles et des barrières au salut. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua francese, in particolare quelli del Belgio e della Francia. Pietro si riconosce come un servitore della Parola di Dio. Questa Parola lo precede e lo supera; lo chiama a dare il meglio di se stesso. In questo mese missionario straordinario, chiediamo alla grazia dello Spirito Santo di essere evangelizzatori, costruttori di ponti tra le persone e il Signore, non ostacoli e barriere alla salvezza. Dio vi benedica!]
I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Finland, Norway, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. I greet in particular the delegation from the NATO Defense College, with good wishes for their efforts in the cause of peace. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!
[Do il benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’Udienza odierna, specialmente a quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Scozia, Finlandia, Norvegia, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Corea, Australia, Indonesia, Malesia, Filippine, Canada e Stati Uniti d’America. Saluto in particolare la delegazione del NATO Defense College, con fervidi auguri per il loro servizio a favore della pace. Su di voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore Gesù Cristo. Dio vi benedica!]
Mit Freude heiße ich die Brüder und Schwestern deutscher Sprache willkommen. Insbesondere begrüße ich die Pilger aus Schapen, die Schützen aus Drolshagen-Schreibershof und die vielen Jugendlichen, vor allem die Gruppe der Schulen der Brede. Bitten wir den Herrn, dass er uns immer die neuen Wege erkennen lasse, die er uns öffnet, damit wir das Evangelium in Welt von heute verkünden.
[Sono lieto di accogliere i fratelli e le sorelle di lingua tedesca. Saluto in particolare i pellegrini di Schapen e i Schützen di Drolshagen-Schreibershof, nonché i numerosi giovani, specialmente il gruppo delle scuole di Brede. Chiediamo al Signore di farci sempre riconoscere le nuove vie che ci apre per annunciare il Vangelo nel mondo di oggi.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española. Pidamos hoy la gracia de dejarnos sorprender por Dios y de no ser obstáculos a su creatividad, reconociendo y favoreciendo los caminos siempre nuevos por los que Dios derrama su Espíritu en el mundo, para atraer a Él a toda la gente. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa e em particular os fiéis das paróquias e associações do Brasil, sede bem-vindos! De coração vos saúdo a todos, confiando ao bom Deus a vossa vida e a dos vossos familiares. Rezai também vós por mim! Que as vossas famílias se reúnam diariamente para a reza do terço sob o olhar da Virgem Mãe, para que nelas não se acabe jamais o óleo da fé e da alegria, que brota da vida dos seus membros em comunhão com Deus! Obrigado!
[Dear Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, especially the faithful of the parishes and associations of Brazil, welcome! I warmly greet you all and entrust your life and that of your family to God. You also pray for me! Your families gather daily for the recitation of the rosary under the gaze of the Virgin Mother, so that in them the oil of faith and joy, which flows from the life of their members in communion with God, will never be exhausted. Thank you!]أرحبُ بالحاضرينَ الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمين من العراق، ومن سوريا، ومن الشرق الأوسط. إن بطرس يعلمنا أن نفتح قلبنا وأن نتحرر من فرديتنا لكي نصنع الخير ونسعَى من أجل لقاءِ القلوبِ مع الله ونتقاسم الحياة مع الآخرين. لنسأل الله أن ينير عقول الذين انغلقوا على أنفسهم حتى يعرفوه، هو الذي يريد خلاص الجميع. ليُبارِكْكُم الرب جميعًا ويَحرُسْكُم دائمًا من الشرير!
[I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Iraq, Syria and the Middle East. Peter teaches us to open our hearts and to free ourselves from our individuality in order to do good, encourage the meeting of hearts with the Lord and share life with others. We ask the Lord to enlighten the minds of all those who have shut themselves up, so that they know God who wants the salvation of all. May the Lord bless you all and always protect you from the evil one!]Serdecznie witam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, dziś wspominamy wybór kardynała Karola Wojtyły na Stolicę piotrową. Dziękujemy Panu za każde dobro, jakie dokonało się w Kościele, w świecie i w ludzkich sercach, przez jego słowa, czyny i świętość. Pamiętajmy, że jego wezwanie do otwarcia serc dla Chrystusa jest zawsze aktualne. Przez jego wstawiennictwo proszę Pana o obfite dary Ducha Świętego dla was wszystkich, dla waszych rodzin, wspólnot i dla całego Kościoła. Z serca wam błogosławię.
[I cordially welcome the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, today we commemorate the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to the See of Peter. We thank the Lord for every good that has been accomplished in the Church, in the world and in human hearts through the words of John Paul II, his works and his holiness. Let us remember that his call to open hearts to Christ is always timely. Through his intercession I ask the Lord for abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit for all of you, for your families, communities and for the whole Church. I bless you from my heart.]
* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

In particular, I greet the Franciscan Sisters of Penance and Christian Charity, who celebrate their general chapter, and urge them to make mercy the inspiring criterion for personal and community life.

I greet the Bari Police Headquarters; the Association of mutilated and war disabled, of Ostuni; and the faithful of the parish of Sant’Agata dei Goti. I address a special thought to the pilgrims of San Fele, accompanied by Bishop Mons. Ciro Fanelli, and I wish them that the patron, San Giustino de Jacobis, will help them to be generous heralds of the Gospel.

Finally, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. After tomorrow we will celebrate the feast of St. Luke, the evangelist who best reveals the heart of Jesus and his mercy. This recurrence helps everyone to rediscover the joy of being Christian, witnesses of the Lord's goodness.
Full Text + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation

Latest from the Amazon Synod - Formation for lay people in their own special callings - more spaces will be opened to women in the future

Amazon Synod Press Briefing: The spiritual dynamic of the Synod
At the Synod for the Amazon on Wednesday, participants continued their discussions in small groups, as the assembly reached its halfway point.
By Vatican News

Following the morning session, they daily Synod press briefing focused on the unique spiritual dimension of the gathering, and its significance for the whole world, with speakers addressing topics such as our common responsibility in caring for the earth; the need for an integral human ecology; vocations; and the role of the laity.

Summary by Dr Ruffini
The Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Dr Paolo Ruffini, summarized some the main topics “at the centre of discernment” for the synod, including: the Amazon region as a paradigm for the earth as our common home; a calling to ecological conversion; interculturation; access to the sacraments and education; ministries; migration; rural and urban life; international and multilateral engagement for human rights. He said participants at the Synod felt strongly the need to focus on an overall, unified vision, guided by the Holy Spirit, rather than getting caught up too much in details.

Comments by Fr Costa
Fr Giacomo Costa emphasized once again that the Synodal path is very different from worldly gatherings. It is an experience marked not by discussions or debates, like a secular parliament, but rather has a spiritual dynamic, marked especially by fraternity. He spoke too about the abundance of “joy, trust, faith” that so far have characterized the assembly.

Ms Yesica Patiachi Tayori (Peru)
The first guest speaker, Ms Yesica Patiachi Tayori, an indigenous woman from Peru, spoke about the role of native peoples as “guardians of the forest”, while noting that caring for our common home is the responsibility of everyone. She said that her people are facing a real threat of extinction, and already have the experience of being discriminated against.

Bishop Ambrogio Spreafico (Italy)
Bishop Ambrogio Spreafico spoke about the synod as an ecclesial event, with repercussions not only for the Pan-Amazon region, but for the whole world. He mentioned the importance of and integral, human ecology, especially in light of Pope Francis’ teaching in Laudato sí, which he said has not been well understood.

Bishop Wellington Tadeu de Queiroz Vieira (Brazil)
The fraternal environment at the Synod was also mentioned as a highlight by Bishop Wellington Tadeu de Queiroz Vieira. He also spoke about the crisis of vocations, not only in Amazonia but around the world; and said that the question of vocations should not be primarily about celibacy, but about holiness.

Bishop Pedro José Conti (Brazil)
Finally, Bishop Pedro José Conti spoke about the role of the laity. He said they were not merely helpers of the clergy and religious, but had their own lay vocation, which he called an “antidote to clericalism”. Bishop Conti noted the importance of finding a balance in producing goods from the land, and emphasized the necessity of drawing from the “ancient wisdom of the native people”.

A question about the small group reports
Dr Ruffini, asked about the small circles, said that the Press Office expects to be able to publish the reports of the groups on Friday afternoon.

A question about the statue used in ceremonies at the Vatican
One reporter asked about the symbolic significance of a statue that was used in the ceremony for the consecration of the Synod to St Francis, which took place in the Vatican Gardens. The statue has also been featured prominently throughout the Synod.

The representatives of the Holy See Press Office said they would find out more information about the statue and the artist who created it. They noted that the ceremony was organized by REPAM. Speaking in a personal capacity, Dr Ruffini said the statue represented life.

A question about the indigenous Harakbut people
Ms Tayori fielded a question about her own native people, and recounted how they were exploited by those seeking rubber. She also spoke about a Dominican missionary who ministered among her people, and who fought for and with the Harakbut people. She said that but for that missionary, she would likely not be present to tell her story.

A question about the openness in the Synod, and about what was most moving in the first part of the Synod
Responding to a question about what was most moving at the Synod, Bishop Conti said what struck him most was the opportunity to hear from the indigenous peoples, and the freedom with which they spoke about their own experiences. He said it is the children who will save the environment, and particularly the children of the indigenous people.

He said we must be united with one another, and grow in fraternity and solidarity with others, and said it was a beautiful time for communion within the Church.

Bishop de Queiroz Vieira said one of the most significant moments in the synod is the availability to live diversity in unity. That, he said, is based on brotherhood, which is led by and modelled by Pope Francis.

Following along the same lines, Bishop Spreafico also praised the humility of Pope Francis as a model. He said the way in which we listen to pain; this is a time in which we listen to pain, and share it.

A question about the role of women
Bishop de Quieroz Vieria, in response to a question about the role of women, said that the presence of women is essential in the Church. He highlighted their role in missionary work, catechesis, liturgy, in caring for the poor and in caring for children. He said the Church and the world must recognize the value of women, noting there are places where women are discriminated against.

He said that with regard to the question of opening the diaconate to women, Bishop de Quieroz Vieria said that question was already the subject of study, and that in the meantime, the value of women should be recognized.

Bishop Spreafico noted that many pastoral projects in his own diocese are led by women, and spoke of the important role women play in the Church.

Bishop Conti said the Brazilian Bishops Conference was moving in this direction, and reiterated the words of his brother Bishops that is essential to enhance the role of women.

A question about opportunities for lay men and women
Another reporter asked Bishop Conti what he envisions as possibilities for a Church not only with an Amazonian face, but with a lay face. The Bishop said that the path to fuller participation on the part of the laity is a process which is going forward. He emphasized the need for formation for lay people in their own special callings.

Bishop de Queiroz Vieria emphasized that the Church is made up not only of Bishops, but of all the baptized. He noted that the Synod was called precisely in order for the Bishops to make decisions in consultation with all.

A question about what a representative Synod would look like
Asked about whether Bishops were satisfied with the representation of women in the Synod, Bishop de Queiroz Vieria emphasized the unique composition and role of a Synod. He said it is not simply a matter of numerical representation, but that in this particular ecclesial context, the representation in the Synod is significant.

Bishop Conti insisted that we are experiencing a Synodal Church, and that little by little, the Church can be expected to open new paths. He suggested that more spaces will be opened to women in the future.

Full Text Source:
Image Source: Screen Shot - Vatican Media

World Food Day Message of Pope Francis "... realize that we are accumulating and wasting is the bread of the poor." Full Text


To His Excellency Qu Dongyu
FAO Director-General
The yearly celebration of World Food Day makes us hear the dramatic plea of those of our brothers and sisters who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite efforts made in recent decades, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is yet to be implemented in many parts of the world. As a way of responding to this plea of our brothers and sisters, the theme chosen by FAO this year – “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World” – points to the distorted relationship between food and nutrition.
We are in fact witnessing how food is ceasing to be a means of subsistence and turning into an avenue of personal destruction. 820 million of the world’s people suffer from hunger, while almost 700 million are overweight, victims of improper dietary habits. The latter are no longer simply a by-product of the diet enjoyed by “peoples blessed with abundance” (cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 3); they are now found in poorer countries too, where they eat little but increasingly poorly, since they imitate dietary models imported from developed areas. Due to poor nutrition, pathologies arise not only from the imbalance caused by “excess”, often resulting in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other forms of degenerative diseases, but also by “deficiency”, as documented by an increasing number of deaths from anorexia and bulimia.
This reality calls for a conversion in our way of living and acting, and nutrition represents an important starting point. Our lives depend on the fruits of creation (cf. Ps 65:10-14; 104:27-28); these cannot be reduced to mere objects to be recklessly handled and used. Nutritional disorders can only be combatted by the cultivation of lifestyles inspired by gratitude for the gifts we have received and the adoption of a spirit of temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control and solidarity. These virtues, which have accompanied the history of humanity, summon us to a more simple and sober life, and unfailing concern for the needs of those around us. By adopting such a lifestyle, we will grow in a fraternal solidarity that seeks the common good and avoids the individualism and egocentrism that serve only to generate hunger and social inequality. Such a lifestyle will enable us to cultivate a healthy relationship with ourselves, with our brothers and sisters, and with the environment in which we live.
Here the family has a primary role to play; for this reason, FAO has devoted special attention to protecting rural families and promoting family farming. Within the family, and thanks to the particular sensitivity and wisdom of women and mothers, we learn how to enjoy the fruits of the earth without abusing it. We also discover the most effective means for spreading lifestyles respectful of our personal and collective good.
At the same time, the increasing interdependence of nations can help to set aside special interests, while fostering trust and relationships of friendship between peoples (cf. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 482). It is my hope that this year’s theme will remind us that many continue to eat in an unhealthy way. It is a cruel, unjust and paradoxical reality that, today, there is food for everyone and yet not everyone has access to it, and that in some areas of the world food is wasted, discarded and consumed in excess, or destined for other purposes than nutrition. To escape from this spiral, we need to promote “economic institutions and social initiatives which can give the poor regular access to basic resources” (Laudato Si’, 109).
The battle against hunger and malnutrition will not end as long as the logic of the market prevails and profit is sought at any cost, with the result that food is relegated to a mere commercial product subject to financial speculation and with little regard for its cultural, social and indeed symbolic importance. Our first concern should always be the human person: concrete men, women and children, especially those who lack daily food and have a limited ability to manage family and social relationships (cf. Laudato Si’, 112-113). When priority is given to the human person, humanitarian aid operations and development programs will surely have a greater impact and will yield the expected results. We must come to realize that we are accumulating and wasting is the bread of the poor.
Mr Director General, in offering you these reflections for the celebration of World Food Day, I pray that God may bless all associated with the work of FAO and prosper your efforts to promote peace by serving the authentic and integral development of the whole human family.
From the Vatican, 16 October 2019
 Full Text Source: - Official Tranlsation - Image shared from

How to make the Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - #1stFriday Promises and Instructions and Prayers to Share!

To Consecrate yourself and your family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus say the following prayer. This devotion was spread by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who gave us this prayer:

 "O Sacred Heart of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee. "I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. . . I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope for all from Thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee. I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved on Thy Heart for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen.
PROMISES OF THE HEART OF JESUS FOR NINE FIRST FRIDAYS To Those that Live the Devotion to His Sacred Heart
The First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is based on a promise made by Our Lord Jesus Christ during an Apparition to St. Margaret Mary. This promise was implicitly approved by the Church in the 1920 canonization of St. Margaret Mary. The promise reads: "I promise you in the excessive Mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful Love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the Grace of Final Penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."
 Purpose of the Devotion: Reparation to the Heart of Jesus
 In order to receive these graces we should: 
 1-Recieve without interruption Holy Communion for nine consecutive first Fridays.
 2-Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus persevering in our faith until the end.
3-Offer each Holy Communion as an act of expiation for the offenses committed against this Holy Sacrament.
 4-Pray: "O Lord, who in the Heart of Your Son, wounded by our sins, has deposited infinite treasures of grace - we pray, that upon receiving the homage of our love, we have offered you a sufficient reparation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Heart of Jesus, I trust in You."
 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 
 1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
 11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
Images Source: Google Images - Prayer Source:

US Bishops' Comment on Dangers of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide as Released in Federal Study - Full Text

Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Committees Comment on Federal Study Released on Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws to Persons with Disabilities

October 15, 2019
WASHINGTON—Last week, the National Council on Disabilities (NCD) released a federal study revealing that assisted suicide laws are dangerous to people with disabilities. In its report, “The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws,” NCD provides several policy recommendations including urging states to not legalize any form of assisted suicide or active euthanasia. The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the president, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:
“We applaud the National Council on Disabilities for its critical research and report exposing serious risks of abuse, coercion and discrimination posed by assisted suicide laws, specifically for people with disabilities. Every suicide is a human tragedy, regardless of the age, incapacity, or social/economic status of the individual. The legalization of doctor-assisted suicide separates people into two groups: those whose lives we want to protect and those whose deaths we encourage. This is completely unjust and seriously undermines equal protection under the law. The human rights and intrinsic worth of a person do not change with the onset of age, illness, or disability. As Pope Francis said, “True compassion does not marginalize anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude – much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing.” We must do what we can to uphold the dignity of life, cherish the lives of all human beings, and work to prevent all suicides. We urge state and federal governments, health care providers, and associations to heed this report’s warnings and recommendations, especially its opposition to assisted suicide laws.”
 ---Full Text Release by USCCB - Image Source: Google Images -

Easy Novena to St. Hedwig for those with Money Problems - #StHedwig

NOVENA TO ST HEDWIG, PROTECTOR OF THE POOR AND THOSE IN DEBT – FEAST DAY: OCTOBER 16th (A novena – a prayer recited every day for nine days – may be made any time of the year.)
Say 1 Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be each day:
 O St Hedwig, in this world you rejected the honours of the Court, its pomp, luxury and pleasures, and went to be with the poor to help them in the destitution and misery of life. There in Heaven, cast a kind look on us poor mortals, and obtain for us the grace (mention your request) and that of living in the peace and friendship of God. Amen.
 V. Pray for us, St Hedwig!
R. So that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: O God, You taught Blessed Hedwig to prefer, with all her heart, the humble road of Your Cross to the pomp of the world. Through her merits and example, grant that we may learn to reject the ephemeral delights of the world, and, embracing Your Cross, may we overcome the adversities to come. You who live and reign, One God, forever and ever.  “…if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” (Ps 62:10b)
Source: - Image Source: Google Images

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 469

Reading 1ROM 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 62:2-3, 6-7, 9

R.(13b) Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 11:42-46

The Lord said:
"Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk."

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
"Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too."
And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them."

Saint October 16 : St. Marguerite d'Youville the Patron of difficult Marriages, Widows and #Victims of Adultery

St. Marguerite d'Youville
Feast: October 16 (Canada)
Feast Day:
October 16
15 October 1701, Varennes, Quebec
23 December 1771, Montreal, Canada
9 December 1990, by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Chapel of St. Marie Marguerite d'Youville, near Montreal
Patron of:
Against death of children, difficult marriages, in-law problems, loss of parents, opposition of Church authorities, people ridiculed for piety, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, widows

MARGUERITE d'YOUVILLE, Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais was born in Varennes, Quebec, on October 15, 1701. Her father had come from Brittany, France in 1687. Her mother was the daughter of a military officer from Carignan, Quebec, who had been governor of the settlement at Trois-Rivières. Marguerite’s mother’s brother was the explorer Pierre de la Vérendrye. The eldest of six children, Marguerite was only seven years old when her father died. There were hard times for the family because her mother had to wait six years before she began receiving the officers’ widows’ pension. Thanks to the help of her great-grandfather, Pierre Boucher, Marguerite was able to study at the Ursuline boarding school for girls in Quebec City for two years. At 12, she returned to her family to help teach her brothers and sisters. On August 12, 1722, she married François d’Youville. A fur and alcohol trader, he was unreliable and rather selfish. He died in 1730, leaving Marguerite, who was pregnant for the sixth time, with two living children and a lot of debt. In 1737, she rented a house in Montreal where she gave hospitality to women in need. She and three companions made private religious vows. Because they broke social barriers by taking in the needy, the women were scorned, slandered and persecuted. Marguerite was accused of trafficking in alcohol with the First Nations people as her husband had done, with, it was said, the collaboration of the Sulpicians. She was accused of drunkenness and even prostitution. In 1747, Marguerite was put in charge of the administration of the Charon Brothers Hospital. When her term was up in 1750, she wrote to France for help and offered to pay the hospital’s debts. The King, Louis XV, confirmed her as director of the hospital on June 3, 1753, and authorized her to form a religious community which was approved by the Most Rev. Henri-Marie de Pontbriand, Bishop of Quebec, in 1755. To meet the financial needs of the hospital, Marguerite used her administrative talents and started up various activities such as needlework, dressmaking and tailoring, and the manufacture of military flags, clothing for Native people, hosts and candles. She also ran a tavern, sold tobacco, lime, building materials, and sand. The hospital welcomed a wide variety of people, including the poor, epileptics, lepers, battered women, and sick priests. During the wars leading up to the Conquest of 1760, her door was open to prisoners, the sick and the wounded of both sides. Beginning in 1754, Mother d’Youville also took in abandoned children. In 1765, the General Hospital burned down. It took four years, but she got it rebuilt. On December 9 and 13, 1771, she had attacks of paralysis and she died on December 23. She was canonized on December 9, 1990 by Pope (now Saint) John Paul II. Her Spirituality With the Ursulines, Marguerite grew in the practice of the apostolic prayer of Marie of the Incarnation who had founded the girls’ school in Quebec City a century earlier. Marguerite wrote: “It is by the Heart of my Jesus, my Way, my Truth, and my Life, that I approach you, O eternal Father.” She was intelligent and she had good judgment and a well-developed sense of responsibility. She was convinced that the “the cross was the sign of love by which the Father of Mercy brought his elect into conformity with his Son.” She was strong and hard-working and she was a teacher who “knew how to be respected and how to be loved.” When she was 27, her heart broken by the scandalous life of her husband, she was struck by the revelation of God’s personal love for her. Her spiritual life became one of trust in, and abandon to, divine Providence. After his death, she had to provide for her family while his estate was settled. At the same time, she visited the poor, the prisoners and the sick, and begged for funds to provide a proper burial for criminals who had died. In 1737, still looking after her children, she formed with three companions an association of “young women, secular in habits, but religious in their hearts” who consecrated themselves “in perpetuity to the service of the poor.” In the memoir that she wrote in 1752, she said, “Providence and our hard work are the resources we count on to carry on the work.” She took in “found” children in order “to preserve them body and soul, to offer them a Christian education and help them prepare to earn an honest living.” After a fire, which destroyed her building in 1765, she and her Sisters prayed the Te Deum and said, “The Lord gave us everything, the Lord has taken everything away, may his Name be praised forever.” At the end of her life, she said, “We have always been on the verge of losing everything, but we have always had what we needed.” The Rule of the Institute recommends “seeing Christ in the person of the poor who have the honour of being incorporated in Him.” Poverty, humility and submission did not erase awareness of understanding the humaneness. Marguerite asked each of her Sisters “to make known her needs, without hiding her infirmities, and not to undertake anything that would damage her health.” Within the community, she wanted “perfect union, with one heart and one soul, always considerate and supportive of each other in our weakness, knowing that we need a greater love to bear our own.” To obtain that, the Sisters should “draw from the Divine Paternity the feelings of love, tender solicitude, and compassion that will sustain them in helping the poor, the sick and the orphan.” Marguerite d’Youville’s spirituality can be summed up in three words: “Father, Providence, Poor”. Her love was universal and adapted itself so well to every kind of distress, that it was common for people to say, “Go to the Grey Nuns. They will never refuse to help you.” 
Pope John XXIII beatified Marguerite on May 3, 1959 and called her "Mother of Universal Charity." She was canonized by Pope John Paul II, December 9, 1990.